Saturday, September 04, 1999

Deadbeat Bengal arrested in Georgia

Brooks charged with owing child support

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Former Cincinnati Bengals running back James Brooks, wanted on charges of failing to pay child support, was arrested in Atlanta after stepping off a flight from England.

        Now being held by federal authorities in a Georgia jail, Mr. Brooks is expected to be returned to Cincinnati after the Labor Day holiday, said Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen. Mr. Brooks was arrested on Thursday.

        The 40-year-old Mr. Brooks faces two felony charges of failing to support his 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. He owes about $105,000 in child support payments.

        A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Mr. Brooks, along with 68 others, on Aug. 5 as part of a crackdown on “deadbeat parents.” The crackdown was the county's largest mass indictment in history.

        Prosecutors and Mr. Brooks have been negotiating his return and the support charges since the crackdown was publicized. He has been living in London for several years.

        “All appearances are he was heading back to Hamilton County to turn himself in and do the right thing,” Mr. Allen said. “He didn't make it that far.”

        Mr. Brooks flew from England into Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport on Thursday. When he checked through customs, officials noticed warrants out for his arrest.

        He now awaits extradition to Cincinnati.

        Prosecutors expected Mr. Brooks, who went to high school in Georgia, to fly into Cincinnati next week. Mr. Brooks works for a security firm in England, earning the equivalent of minimum wage, Mr. Allen said.

        Mr. Brooks was a Pro Bowl rusher in the National Football League and holds several team records for his stint with the Bengals. He played in Cincinnati from 1984 to 1991, and was a member of the 1989 Super Bowl team.

        If convicted, Mr. Brooks could get six to 12 months in jail for each charge.


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